After Piers Morgan and Alex Jones debated the issue of gun control on CNN, The Daily Shift’s Shane Burke gives his opinion on the situation…
Usually when debating a conversation between two people with diverging opinions, both sides are respectable, calm, and put across their opinions in a calm and collected manner. Once this is done the winner of the debate is chosen by the public.
However, the recent debate between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones can only be described as bizarre. This was due to the over exaggeration by Alex Jones that a second American revolution will happen if America reforms the second amendment the right to bear arms. This claim more than likely defined the debate and made Mr Jones look like a bit of an extremist overshadowing his arguments against Piers Morgan, who was quiet for a good amount of the exchange. It is now obvious as to why Piers Morgan has become a target for Alex Jones because of his strident views on banning a certain class of assault weapons – namely semi-automatic weapons, which can do a lot of damage.
For holding such views a petition has been launched calling for Piers Morgan to be sent back to Britain. Upon reaching 25,000 signatures, a response is expected from the White House.
While a comprehensive response is expected, a chief White House official has said it is important to remember ”freedom of speech is the bedrock this country is built on”. Piers Morgan had a report on the shootings in the cinema in Colorado a year ago and an interview with the relatives of one of the deceased. Apart from Alex Jones shouting and the occasional remark by Piers Morgan the interview lacked punch or substance and was at times no better than celebrity TV.
First of all, America enforced a ban on semi-automatic weapons ban in 1994. The result of that ban was not exactly an uprising by the American public, which raises the question to Alex Jones: why would the public rebel this time when they did not in the past?
The truth is, Alex Jones was more than likely engaging in scare mongering to put the US government off trying to reform semi-automatic weapons. Research has claimed that the UK has exponentially more murders in comparison with the US.
However, comparing the UK and America – the latter of which has a much larger access to weapons – is disingenuous to say the least. This is due to the fact the US had over 10,000 deaths buy gun compared to the UK having much more robberies and muggings. Apart from citing statistics that cannot be adequately compared, Alex Jones so far as to call those who want tougher firearms restrictions “lemmings” and was overall condescending to Piers Morgan, even offering to take him shooting so he could become a proper US citizen.
After what has happened with firearms in the US the main question that needs answering is, will a ban on semi-automatic weapons work? The previous assault weapons ban was pretty ineffective in curbing violence when passed in 1994. A year later, the Oklahoma city bombings occurred when Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building. Many people were killed and wounded in the explosion most recently at the cinema shootings in Colorado. The death toll could have been worse had the perpetrator, James Hood, used his knowledge of explosives instead of firearms. The most interesting, relevant fact Alex Jones made all debate was how everyday items can be used to cause carnage and mayhem. With this being possible what is to stop other violent offenders moving away from firearms to something like explosives in the event firearms use is restricted?
With such a possibility, it is hard to see what difference restricting firearms will do. In the area of gang violence, most weapons are illegally brought into the country. Taking into account all possibilities, it is far from convincing that the phenomenon of the lone gunman or psycho will be abated as long as individuals have free will. Perhaps the best thing America can do is even out the playing field. For example, in the most recent shootings in Connecticut, the schools area was a no firearms zone. Everyone followed this rule except the gunman. Knowing this, is it not time America considered allowing teachers to operate firearms inside schools?
What could be so bad about this? The first argument is that it brings firearms to the school, allowing a shooter within the building.
The truth is the Piers Morgan – Alex Jones face off revealed nothing new, but American legislators will have to change if they want to make a difference in US society without making it worse.